DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 Kicks off with Mahasweta Devi’s keynote speech – ‘O to Live Again’

 Ashok Gehlot – CM of Rajasthan and Margaret Alva – Governor of Rajasthan graced the inaugural event with their valuable presence

Mahasweta Devi, Ashok Gehlot - CM Rajasthan and Margaret Alva - Governor of Rajasthan at the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Literature Festival 2013

Mahasweta Devi, Ashok Gehlot – CM Rajasthan and Margaret Alva – Governor of Rajasthan at the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Literature Festival 2013

The 2013 edition of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival started with an inaugural speech by eminent author and social activist Mahasweta Devi. She reflected her long and illustrious life and writing career in a speech laced with references to the rich world of ideas she has imbibed from the tribal and rural cultures that have been the subject of her work.

Ashok Gehlot, CM Rajasthan and Margaret Alva, Governor of Rajasthan at the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Literature Festival 2013

Ashok Gehlot, CM Rajasthan and Margaret Alva, Governor of Rajasthan at the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Literature Festival 2013

Having written on the “culture of the downtrodden” throughout her life, Mahasweta Devi referred to the simple dreams of simple people in her speech. She called for the “right to dream” to be the first fundamental right of all human beings.

Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech - Oh to Live Again

Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech – O to Live Again

In a speech poignantly titled ‘Oh to Live Again’ renowned author Mahasweta Devi said “My early years proved to be formative for my future work as a writer and activist. I also have a different approach to my writing process and I mull over the subjects in depth before setting out on the creative journey”

Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech – Oh to Live Again

The five-day haven of literature that starts today brings together renowned authors, thinkers, philosophers from around the world to Jaipur. It will have speakers who will bring their thoughts, ideas, journeys and experiences to the Festival through debates, discussions and readings. With her keynote speech, Mahasweta Devi set the tone for a meaningful exchange of ideas through the rest of the festival.

Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech - Oh to Live Again

Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech – O to Live Again

Commenting on this, Namita Gokhale, Festival Director – DSC Jaipur Literature Festival said “We are delighted to begin the event with Mahasweta Devi’s warm keynote which was not only inspiring but thought provoking. She has been constantly working for Human Rights and Women rights to bring a change in the society.

The other sessions thorough the day to watch out for, are – ‘Remembering Sunil Da’ – A session that will mark the tribute to iconic author Sunil Gandopadhyay. It will be a session that will focus on his journey in the Indian Literature. Another session on that will catch the visitors attention will be Colliding Worlds: The Quest for Justice’ will speak across the divides of ideology and conventional identity tags. There would be an intriguing session by musical genius Javed Akhtar and Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director, Oxford University Press, Pakistan called ‘Ismat and Annie’. It will be a session where two brilliant minds will discuss literary argument between two Urdu writers Ismat Chughtai and Qurrat-ul-Ain Haider.

About The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival

The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival is considered to be Asia’s leading literature event, celebrating national and international writers, and encompassing a range of activities including film, music and theatre. The festival has already hosted some of the best-known national and international writers including Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, John Berendt, Kiran Desai, Christopher Hampton, Ian McEwan, Vikram Seth, Wole Soyinka, Salman Rushdie, Pico Iyer, Simon Schama, Thomas Keneally, HanifKureishi, Vikram Chandra, Anoushka Shankar, Michael Frayn, Stephen Frears, Alexander McCall Smith, Donna Tartt, Tina Brown, Shashi Tharoor, Mohammed Hanif, Paul Zacharia, among many others. The Directors of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festivals are William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale and the festival is produced by Sanjoy K. Roy and Sheuli Sethi of Teamwork Productions. DSC Limited is the principal sponsor of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival.

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